As per Section 17 of the Parochial Administration Ordinance, every parish must hold an Annual Vestry Meeting each year, before the 31st of March. Notice of the meeting must be given to the congregation two Sundays before the meeting and must include general information on the business to be considered. More formal information about the conduct of Annual Vestry Meetings may be found in the Parochial Administration Ordinance Sections 17 and 19-27 of the Ordinance.
The Annual Vestry Meeting will conduct the following business:
- Confirm the minutes of the preceding Annual Vestry Meeting (unless these have already been confirmed by Parish Council)
- Receive reports from the Parish Priest, churchwardens, the lay Synod representative(s), and from other parish groups
- Receive an audited statement of accounts of the parish, and any organisation connected with the parish
- Must elect Parish Officers, including:
- Consider recommendations from Parish Council
- Consider the budget of income and expenditure presented by the Parish Council
- Other business as specified in the notice for the meeting
The meeting is an important opportunity for all members of the church to have a voice in shaping the pastoral, educational, evangelistic and missionary work of the congregation.
Notification of New Parish Officers may be done online here.
Who may vote at an Annual Vestry Meeting?
The definition of who may vote at any vestry meeting is the same as those who are eligible to vote for the election of a lay member of the Synod. This is defined in Section 13. (1) of the Constitution as any person who:
- Is a communicant, and
- has attained the age of sixteen years, and
- is a member of the parish, and
- shall have signed a declaration in the form of the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution
A template for the Fourth Schedule which may be used at a Vestry Meeting is attached.
The term “communicant” is defined in the Constitution as someone who is a member of the Church who communicates (has Communion) at least three times in the year, of which Easter shall be one.